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  1. #1
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    A$$-Hall(s Ranch)

    So I rode Hall Ranch for the first time late Saturday arvo.
    What a great trail – it has to be my favorite climbs ever. Pity it’s so far from Denver.

    Anyhow, what’s with the lack of trail etiquette? I had one lady fail to give way just as I was cresting one of the longer parts of the technical section (we both had to stop). Groups of riders tried to squeeze past further up the trail (still on the technical section), limiting my line choices.

    Then further up on the loop (rode it counter clockwise) downhill riders were yielding by riding off the trail. Then came the PIÈCE DE RÉSISTANCE of trail etiquette. I was sprinting up the hill just after Nelson Ranch and two riders were coming the other way. They didn’t start to slow at the usual distance people do when they’re going to give way. So I figured they were going to leave it to the last minute to slow down – I mean there is just no way two bikes can pass at a combined speed of (20-30mph) on that trail. So obviously, at the very least they’re going to slow down, right? Wrong. I had to swerve off the trail at the last second, crashing in the process. That has to be the single biggest a$$hole acts I’ve encountered on the trails in my 10 years of MTBing on two different continents. I’m just glad it happened to me and not some trail runner or hiker. Anyway between Darwin and karma those two riders are going to have an eventful future I’m sure.

    So is this just par for the course riding (crowded) Boulder trails on the weekend? Say it isn’t so.

    To be fair though, I should point out that there was a handful or two of courteous riders. I’m certainly not saying everyone who rides hall is an a$$.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve71
    So I rode Hall Ranch for the first time late Saturday arvo.
    What a great trail – it has to be my favorite climbs ever. Pity it’s so far from Denver.

    Anyhow, what’s with the lack of trail etiquette? I had one lady fail to give way just as I was cresting one of the longer parts of the technical section (we both had to stop). Groups of riders tried to squeeze past further up the trail (still on the technical section), limiting my line choices.

    Then further up on the loop (rode it counter clockwise) downhill riders were yielding by riding off the trail. Then came the PIÈCE DE RÉSISTANCE of trail etiquette. I was sprinting up the hill just after Nelson Ranch and two riders were coming the other way. They didn’t start to slow at the usual distance people do when they’re going to give way. So I figured they were going to leave it to the last minute to slow down – I mean there is just no way two bikes can pass at a combined speed of (20-30mph) on that trail. So obviously, at the very least they’re going to slow down, right? Wrong. I had to swerve off the trail at the last second, crashing in the process. That has to be the single biggest a$$hole acts I’ve encountered on the trails in my 10 years of MTBing on two different continents. I’m just glad it happened to me and not some trail runner or hiker. Anyway between Darwin and karma those two riders are going to have an eventful future I’m sure.

    So is this just par for the course riding (crowded) Boulder trails on the weekend? Say it isn’t so.

    To be fair though, I should point out that there was a handful or two of courteous riders. I’m certainly not saying everyone who rides hall is an a$$.
    I've experienced some of the same on both ends of the spectrum. I don't know why, but as far as etiquette goes, Hall is the worst. It could just be the number of people there. Everyone wants to hit the tough lines, everyone wants to get some speed, but with all those users, it's just not gonna happen.

    I love the riding there, but it's best done on a weekday afternoon when use is low...

  3. #3
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    Par for the course

    Check out my old post re: Trail Etiquette in Boulder County. Most folks have come to the same conclusion you have. I'm lucky(?) because I'm big enough that (almost) nobody would want to risk a collision - kinda like a GTI playing chicken with an Excursion. Some of my friends have much more conflicts than I. It's not just an MTB issue, seems like much of Boulder is pretty inconsiderate and self-absorbed these days. It's gotten much worse in the 14 years I have been here for sure.

    I think part of it has to do with newer residents coming from areas with different "rules" of the trail. I also think some education on what appropriate behavior looks like would help, instead of always stating what not to do. Kinda like training a dog......

    Go back on a weekday if you can - just watch out for trailhead break-ins at slow times.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by 36Cycleplane
    It's not just an MTB issue, seems like much of Boulder is pretty inconsiderate and self-absorbed these days. It's gotten much worse in the 14 years I have been here for sure.

    I think part of it has to do with newer residents coming from areas with different "rules" of the trail. I also think some education on what appropriate behavior looks like would help, instead of always stating what not to do. Kinda like training a dog......

    Go back on a weekday if you can - just watch out for trailhead break-ins at slow times.
    I agree here. It's not limited to Hall. It's pretty much all of the close in trails on beautiful weekend days - crowded. I don't think it's limited to this area, as I've had similar issues at parks around Denver/Jeffco. Off peak and winter hours are much better. Hall is a good place to avoid on days you'd suspect it'll be busy. I stay away on weekends pretty much June thru late October.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by 36Cycleplane
    Check out my old post re: Trail Etiquette in Boulder County. Most folks have come to the same conclusion you have.
    Thanks for the thread link, I just re-read it (IIRC I read it at the time it was originally posted, but forgot all about it). Looks like things haven't improved much since then.....

    I guess if I ride those trails, I'll just have to suck it up, or like others suggested, ride at an off peak time. Is it ride-able over winter?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve71
    Thanks for the thread link, I just re-read it (IIRC I read it at the time it was originally posted, but forgot all about it). Looks like things haven't improved much since then.....

    I guess if I ride those trails, I'll just have to suck it up, or like others suggested, ride at an off peak time. Is it ride-able over winter?
    It's south facing, so it tends to thaw pretty well.

    I think some of the rude feelings we tend to get there in the rock garden section happen because we tend to be "committed" to one line going up and down - and the consequences for getting off that line could be a trip to the hospital. It's not a forgiving place to fall. As far as the guys on the upper part of the trail - just plain bad form.
    Take the long cut, we'll get there eventually.

  7. #7
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    a great $hity weather ride

    always try to avoid Hall on the weekends when the weather is nice. Though i did ride it on sunday (up the antilope side, much less busy).

    Ned is a good place for weekends though, prbobably similar distace from Denver, and cause there are more trails you'll see fewer people. Also a good place for cold weather.

    Buff creek is should be nice about now; not as technical though.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve71
    Thanks for the thread link, I just re-read it (IIRC I read it at the time it was originally posted, but forgot all about it). Looks like things haven't improved much since then.....

    I guess if I ride those trails, I'll just have to suck it up, or like others suggested, ride at an off peak time. Is it ride-able over winter?
    Hall is one of the best winter rides around. The Bitterbrush trail is pretty much rideable year round up to the first bench. The Nelson loop gets snowed in and pretty sloppy. If you do ride it, just ride thru the mud, not around. Worst months for Hall seem to be late Jan thru early March. I've ridden it bone dry thru Christmas before.
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  9. #9
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    haven't been to Hall in a year or so

    too crowded and everybody is riding like its the word cup finals. Plus I don't have the time to drive for 20-30 minutes each way to do a 2 hr. ride. So, I ride my road bike more & more.

  10. #10
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    People's Republic of Boulder

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve71

    So is this just par for the course riding (crowded) Boulder trails on the weekend? Say it isn’t so.
    Welcome to the People's Republic of Boulder.

    Remember that people from all over the world gravitate to Boulder because they see it as the mecca of outdoor life so you have to deal with a melting pot of backgrounds, beliefs, and up bringings. Many of the Boulder natives can be particularly nasty as they see the increase in trail traffic a direct infiltration of foreigners on their homeland. Of all the places I've ever been, Boulder has the largest concentration of inconsiderate & rude individuals riding the trail systems there. There are still some good people on the trails in Boulder though so let's not discount them. I'd suggest just to igore the a**holes and be friendly to everyone else.

    Word to the wise regarding Halls...ride during the week and stay away from it on the weekends. Also, if you see some jerkoff in his race garb riding at a rate of 4 to the 7th power, give him some room and be the bigger man even if you have the right of way. The last thing we need on the already overcrowded front range trails is scuffles amongst the bikers in the community.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve71
    Then further up on the loop (rode it counter clockwise) downhill riders were yielding by riding off the trail.
    I'm guilty of this, I'll swerve a bit off the trail to get out of someone's way.

  12. #12
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    This topic comes up every month or so. Agreed that Hall an get packed with idiots and a-holes. Solution - ride early or elsewhere. S

  13. #13
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    It's the foreigners

    As a friendly and courteous native I suspect it is the odoriferous and unwashed foreigners visiting the People's Republic of Boulder and the surrounding Boulder County Satellite Fiefdoms that are the offensive and trail etiquette-challenged.

    Perhaps if we limited trail access to card-carrying members only...

  14. #14
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    a holes are everywhere

    I have had similar experiences all over the front range. There are just too many riders and not enough trails.

    I stay away from Hall on the weekends and summer week nights after 6pm. People come from all around to ride that trail (you came from Denver right)? This year it has gotten extremely bad because the county and IMBA cleaned out all the challenging sections making it more palatable to the punters as we like to call them. People who never really get off the front range trails just seem to have this one hr wonder riding style and zero trail etiquette.

    Rise above and head for the hills on weekends!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1speed
    I have had similar experiences all over the front range. There are just too many riders and not enough trails.
    ...

    Rise above and head for the hills on weekends!
    Amen. More reason that Hall is such a great winter ride. The folks that only ride groomed open space generally put the bike into hibernation for the winter. There's tons of good riding beyond the open space parks. Maybe not picnic tables and bathrooms, but it's all about the riding, right?

    I ride Hall a ton because it's close. You just have to accept the fact that you won't be able rip all of the trail all of the time. I think it's still fun, even if I can't go top speed. I was out for about 1 hour today and it was great. Encountered several folks on foot, bike and horse. 100% of them were friendly. I've done my share of 'education' for other cyclists, but I still think that it's the few bad apples syndrome. Courtesy spreads, eh?
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